2018 Grand River Canoe Trip

On Friday, July 27, 2018, JMA ventured out of the office for a day of Canoeing the Grand. Our party of 12 and 6 canoes were shuttled upstream to Kaufman’s Flats to commence the journey.

map.jpgBIG WATER JMA Canoes the Grand JM Photos 9.JPGpaddling.jpg

Approximately halfway through our 4hrs of paddling, we stopped for lunch and a rest. After finishing our sandwiches, watermelon and cookies, John had everyone draw “straws” to find out who our new canoe partner would be for the second leg of the trip.


The weather was just fine for enjoying the water, nature (Great Blue Heron) and bridges (Bridge Street bridge).


At one point, we managed to make a canoe barge out of 5 canoes while the lone canoe was full speed ahead. Sadly, they missed the photo opt but were eventually captured on camera along The Grand.


After a few water mishaps, bottoming out in the shallows and near canoe tippings, we made it to our final destination. Although a little bit wet from the rain, we all still managed to smile for one last photo.


Annual Potluck 2017 – Korea

Once again we all gathered this December at John and Margaret’s house to share the holiday cheer with our annual potluck.

group picture

Everyone is gathered around the table to explain the dishes they have cooked. Here John is showing the kimchi that took him a week to prepare. 

Each year we choose a different theme for the potluck. We all agreed with enthusiasm that this time around we wanted to eat Korean food, and so, we got our creative juices to work.

We learned that Koreans take great pride in their cooking traditions and having good wholesome foods in their homes.

You are welcome to try any recipes below. We have tried to include their sources. This doesn’t mean that the recipes were always followed to the letter. Adaptations were made for available ingredients. It was all very good and as ever, it was great fun to try cooking dishes we had never had before, as well as eating them!

Melhik – Tong Dak (barbecue chicken wings)

melhik wings











2 pounds chicken wings and drumettes

1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced

2 tsp sesame oil

6 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp honey

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, minced

1 tbsp red pepper paste (kochujang)


  1. Mix all ingredients together except the chicken (for the sauce).
  2. Marinate chicken for at least an hour in the sauce.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Brown the chicken in a heated pan on the stove until browned on all sides, reserve the marinade for later.
  5. Transfer wings and drumsticks to a shallow roasting pan, pouring sauce over pieces
  6. Put chicken into preheated oven.
  7. Turn once during cooking, covering with more sauce if needed.
  8. Cook chicken for a total of 40-50 mins in oven. Serve.


Mila – Japchae (glass noodle stir fry)

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.36.21 PM


For Main

250 g Korean sweet potato starch noodles

100 g rib eye fillet

1 medium carrot, rinsed, peeled and julienned

110 g baby spinach, rinsed and drained

1/4 small red pepper, rinsed and julienned

1/2 large yellow onion, peeled, rinsed and thoroughly sliced

100 g fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned stems removed and thinly sliced

For Spinach Seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp sesame oil

For Beef Marinade

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp rice wine

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp sesame oil

Noodles & mushroom marinade (mix in small bowl)

For finishing touches

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 egg, yolk and white separated


  1. Slice rib eye in thin strips and put in medium bowl. Add the mixed beef marinade to bowl. Cover bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare veggies in the “main” section. Put mushrooms in a separate medium bowl and add 1 tbsp of the prepared mushroom marinade. Set aside.
  3. Boil water in a medium pot. Dip spinach for 5-10 seconds and scoop out with strainer. Run spinach under tap water to cool, then squeeze to remove excess water and place into separate bowl. Add prepared spinach seasoning, mix and set aside.
  4. Boil water in a large pot. Boil noodles for 7 minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Cut noodles with kitchen scissors to 6-8 inch length. Put in large mixing bowl and set aside.
  5. Add some oil to a pan, cook egg white on low heat and then place on cutting board. Repeat this step for egg yolk. Slice into strips and set aside. Fry the onion with some oil and set aside, do the same to stir fry the carrots, red capsicum, marinated mushrooms, marinated meat, and noodles, all in separate steps.
  6. Stir fry all ingredients together to heat through. Add finishing touches if desired. Serve.


Elyn – Haemul Pajeon (seafood pancakes)

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.36.15 PM


Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp gochugaru (red chili flakes)

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sesame seeds

1/2 tsp minced ginger

2 scallions, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

For pancakes:

1 pound mussels or clams, or a combination, scrubbed

1/2 cup white flour

1/2 cup rice flour

2 tbsp potato starch or corn starch

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 egg

1 cup ice water

4 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

4 ounces raw squid, sliced into 1/4 inch rings

6 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 red finger chile pepper/Fresno chile, thinly sliced

1 medium shallot, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup chives, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup canola oil

salt, to taste


  1. Combine dipping sauce ingredients and set aside in small bowl.
  2. Boil 1 inch of water in saucepan, add mussels or clams, cover tightly with lid and cook until the shells are open and the meat is just cooked. Drain, pick the meat from shells when slightly cooled, and set meat aside. Discard shells.
  3. Add the flours, starch, sesame oil and egg to a large bowl. Add the ice water and whisk until well incorporated. Add shrimp, squid, scallions, chile, shallow, garlic, chives, 3/4 tsp salt and mussel/clam meat. Mix.
  4. Add 1/2 cup batter to a skillet coated in oil and spread evenly until it is all a single layer on medium heat. Cook until sides are crisp and small bubbles form on top. Flip the pancake and cook until brown. Keep flipping often until the pancake becomes crispy. Repeat until all pancakes are done. Serve with dipping sauce.


Maria – Manju (baked sweet pastry)

Maria sweet pastry


1 cup lima beans, soaked overnight

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup flour, plus 1/2 cup flour

2 eggs

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Pop beans out of skins with your fingers. Discard skins. Place beans in a pot of 1 1/4 cups water and boil for 10 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer for about 35-50 minutes until the beans are soft and fluffy. Mash beans until they have the consistency of mashed potatoes. Add sugar, half the salt and 1 tsp vanilla and mix to thicken the filling. Turn the heat off, cool and set aside (as filling).
  3. In a separate bowl 3/4 cup flour, egg, half the salt, 1 tsp vanilla and the condensed milk and mix until combined. Set aside (as dough).
  4. Divide the dough and the filling into 8 same-size balls. Flatten each ball onto a floured cutting board, using the palm of your hand. Place a filling ball into the center of a flattened dough ball. Wrap the dough around the filling. Seal the edges and form into an egg shape.
  5. Dip one side of each manju into water, then dip into sesame seeds. Brush the egg yolk over the sesame seeds. Repeat for each pastry and place on baking sheet sesame side up. Bake on 350 for 20 minutes, then serve.


Matt – Various Dishes

Matt prepared three different dishes, including an appetizer, a side dish, and a chilled dessert.

Baesuk (pear dessert)


4 Korean pears, peeled

3 cups water

15 g fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tbsp sugar

24 black peppercorns (2 or 3 per slice)

Pine nuts for garnish


  1. Place sliced ginger into a pot and add water. Boil over medium high heat until rolling boiling. Cut pears into wedge shapes. Push black peppercorns into the back of the pear slices, 2-3 peppercorns per slice. Push them in deep so they don’t fall out.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, discard the ginger. Add the sliced pears and sugar into the pot. Boil them over low heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and cool down. Chill in the fridge for a few hours, garnish with pine nuts and serve cold.


Gamja Jorim (Korean potato side dish)


12 oz baby potatoes

1 dried shiitake mushroom

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp sugar

2 cups water

1 tbsp vegetable oil

swirl of sesame oil

sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Rinse baby potatoes. Place in a pot with enough water to cover them. Boil water and cook for 10 minutes then drain.
  2. Add potatoes back to pot, add 2 cups water, soy sauce, sugar, oil and 1 dried shiitake mushroom. Bring to boil and then simmer, covered for 30 minutes until liquid has reduced to one third.
  3. Uncover and add maple syrup, keep simmering until there is almost no liquid. Reduce for a few more minutes while stirring. Finish with sesame oil and seeds, then serve.


Gochujang (bean balls)


For bean balls:

1 can black beans, drained

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 red pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cooking onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp flax seeds

2 tbsp gochujang (red chile paste)

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, grated

For glaze:

3 tbsp gochujang

3 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 clove garlic, grated


  1. Mash black beans and add remaining ball ingredients. Mix thoroughly and roll into balls.
  2. Place on baking sheet, brush with oil and bake for 20-25 minutes in an oven heated to 430 degree fanbake (convection setting).
  3. While bean balls are cooking, make the glaze by adding all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer. Cook until glossy and thickened, then serve together.


Margaret – Hoogim-ja (black sesame coconut milk ice cream)

ms ice cream


6 tbsp black sesame seeds

1/3 cup plum syrup

2 cans full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup unrefined sugar

pinch salt

3 tbsp cornstarch


  1. Put sesame seeds in dry skillet over medium heat. Toast until they start releasing their aroma and start popping. Remove from pan and cool. Grind seeds with a mortar and pestle, place them in bowl and combine with plum syrup until a paste forms.
  2. Heat 1 can of coconut milk, the sugar and salt in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. In a bowl, whisk other coconut milk can into cornstarch until no lumps. Add to saucepan, mix and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thicken, making sure the bottom does not burn. Remove from pan, transfer to large bowl, and pass mixture through a sieve if there are any lumps.
  3. Stir the sesame seed paste into the mixture until combined. Place a piece of parchment on top to prevent a skin from forming on the top, then refrigerate for 1-2 hours until well chilled.
  4. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

From the Cookbook “Our Korean Kitchen”, by Jordan Bourke and Rejina Pyo

John – Various Dishes

john all food

John prepared a number of different appetizers  and main dishes.

Daeha Jjim (pan fried king prawns)


1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp roasted sesame seed oil

1 tsp honey

1 tsp vegetable oil

5 oz king prawns, shelled

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp roasted pine nuts, roughly chopped


  1. To make the sauce, combine garlic, ginger , soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and honey in a bowl.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over high heat. When very hot, add in the prawns and cook for 1 minute, then turn them over. Add the sauce and fry for about a minute until cooked through.
  3. Remove and place on a plate and sprinkle the sliced green onion and pine nuts, then serve.

 From the Cookbook “Our Korean Kitchen”, by Jordan Bourke and Rejina Pyo

Godeungeo Jorim (braised mackerel with white radish)


1 large mackerel, filleted

11 oz Chinese white radish, peeled

1/2 cup light soy sauce

2 tbsp sake or rice wine

2 tbsp maple syrup

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp Korean chili powder

1/2 onion, chopped

1 red and 1 green chili, seeded and sliced


  1. Slice the mackerel into medium-size pieces with a very sharp knife. Cut the radish into 1 inch cubes, then arrange evenly across the base of the large pan. Cover the layer of radish cubes with a layer of mackerel.
  2. Pour the soy sauce over the fish and add 1 cup of water, the sake and maple syrup. Sprinkle on the crushed garlic and chili powder and gently stir. Add onion and sliced chilis, then cover.
  3. Place over high heat and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish is tender, spooning the soy liquid over the fish as it cooks. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

From the Cookbook “The Complete Book of Korean Cooking”, by Young Jin Song

Gal-Bi (barbecue beef short ribs)


2 lb beef short ribs, cut into 2 inch squares

Side of shredded scallions seasoned with Korean chile powder and rice vinegar, to taste.

For the marinade:

4 scallions, finely sliced

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 asian pear,

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

4 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine or sake

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp sesame seeds

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated


  1. For the marinade, place the scallions and onion in a large bowl. Core and chop the Asian pear, being careful to save the juices, and add to the bowl. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and mix together thoroughly.
  2. Add the short ribs to the marinade, stirring the coat them. Leave to stand for at least 2 hours to allow the flavours to permeate and the meat to soften.
  3. Heat a heavy griddle pan or frying pan and add the ribs. Keep turning them to cook the meat evenly. When they become crisp and dark brown, serve immediately with a bowl of seasoned shredded spring onions.

From the Cookbook “The Complete Book of Korean Cooking”, by Young Jin Song

Garibi Gui (spicy scallops with enoki mushrooms)


5 scallops, with shells

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp sesame oil

2 egg yolks, beaten

1 sheet dried seaweed

1 red chili, seeded and finely sliced

1/2 green pepper, finely sliced

2.5 oz enoki mushrooms

Salt and Pepper

Grated rind of 1 lemon, to garnish


  1. Scrub scallop shells, then cut the hinge muscle at the base and lift of the rounded shell.
  2. Scrape away the beard-like fringe, next to the white scallop and orange coral, and remove the intestinal thread. Then ease the scallop and coral away from the shell.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a wok and stir-fry the scallops until browned. Season with sesame oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Place the scallop shells into a pan of boiling water and then drain. Add 2 tsp oil to the wok and heat it over a low heat.
  5. Pour int he beaten egg yolks and add a pinch of salt. Cook to form a thin omelette. Once set, remove from the pan and slice into strips.
  6. Cut the seaweed into thin strips. Add the chili and pepper to the pan, adding oil if required, and stir-fry with a pinch of salt.
  7. Place the scallop shells i a steamer, and set one scallop on each shell. Place the pepper mixture, some omelette strips and some mushrooms on each shell and steam for 4 minutes.
  8. Garnish with the seaweed strips and a sprinkle of lemon rind.

From the Cookbook “The Complete Book of Korean Cooking”, by Young Jin Song

Gogooma Tweegeem (prawn and sweet potato tempura)


2.5 cups sunflower oil, for deep-frying

1 scant cup flour, plus a little extra to coat

3/4 cup glutenous rice flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper

1.5 cups ice cold sparkling water

2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (no need to peel)

8 king prawns, shelled and deveined, tails left on

For the dipping sauce:

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp mirin

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. Combine all dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Place oil in a pan over medium heat. Test the temperature with a deep frying or candy thermometer to 350 degrees, or by dropping a bread crumb into the oil; it should turn golden in just under a minute.
  3. While the oil is heating, combine flours, baking powder, salt and pepper. Quickly stir in the cold sparkling water until you have a milky consistency. Don’t over-whisk, batter can be lumpy for added texture.
  4. Lightly coat sweet potatoes and prawns in extra flour, then dip into the batter and shake off excess so you have a light coating. Carefully place in hot oil, without overcrowding pan. Fry the sweet potato for 4-5 minutes and the prawns for 2-3 minutes, until lightly golden and cooked through.
  5. Remove with slotted spoon, dry on paper towels and serve immediately with dipping sauce.

From the Cookbook “Our Korean Kitchen”, by Jordan Bourke and Rejina Pyo

Julie – Gyeongdan (sweet rice cakes with red bean filling)

julie rice cakes


For the filling:
  • 1 cup Adzuki red beans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
For the dough:
  • 2 cups sweet rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup boiling water
For the toppings:
  • 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, roasted and ground
  • 4 tablespoon shredded coconut, roughly chopped
1. For the filling, rinse the beans and soak overnight. Drain beans and put in a pot with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook until very soft, and when ready, drain excess water and puree in a food processor. Place back in the pot, add the brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside.
2. Place 2 cups of sweet rice flour in a bowl and add in the salt and sugar. Slowly add the boiling water and mix thoroughly until it forms a firm dough. When mixed through, set aside and prepare the toppings.
3. Combine the matcha green tea powder with the sugar. Roast the black sesame seeds until they pop, then lightly grind with a mortar and pestle. Place those in another bowl. Place the shredded coconut in another bowl.
4. To assemble, roll dough into ping-pong sized ball and place on floured surface. Flatten into a bowl shape, about ¼-inch thick. Place a ½ teaspoon of sweet red bean paste into the center and fold the edges over. Pinch together at the creases to seal the red bean inside and roll back into a ball. Continue with the remaining dough.
5. Boil rice cakes in a pot of water for a few minutes, until they float to the top. Place cakes directly into ice/cold water until cooled, then remove. Once dry, roll in toppings and serve.

David – Crispy Rice Squares (decorated with Korean flag)

david flag


1/4 cup butter

2 cups mini marshmallows

5 cups crisp rice cereal


  1. Melt butter in large sauce pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended. Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  2. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.
  3. Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13 x 9 inch pan. Cut into 2 x 2 inch squares when cool.





Things We Like – Kitchens

The JMA team had another great day exploring “Things We Like” for kitchen designs! Each member of the office brought in their favourite kitchen photos that brought beauty, functionality, and unique features to each space.


David chose a kitchen in a post-victorian home with a clean design and a strong relationship to the exterior.

The Prinseneiland House

Matt selected a kitchen that combines materials to open up space and extend visual lines.

Jamil 10 11 2017

Jamil gave us a glimpse of his childhood kitchen in Israel that his father built. From the window he could see who went by, including friends and relatives.


Maria’s kitchen combines rustic and industrial materials.

Melhik Kitchen crop

Melhik brought a futuristic circular kitchen hub.


John’s kitchen showed us an L shaped island to combine a prep and eating area in a brightly lit space.

Margaret kitchen crop

Margaret’s kitchen makes the most of the tight space. The large window gives a focus to the room and expands the space.

Elyn Kitchen crop

Elyn’s kitchen is fashioned after the commercial kitchen model, with space dedicated to different tasks.

mila kitchen crop for blog

Mila liked this bright kitchen of pale woods and capitalized on the design potential of architectural language of kitchens.

LED kitchen

Julie’s eccentric taste in designs brought her to pick a classic kitchen layout with a punch of colour from LED lighting.

We want to hear about Things You Like! Leave a comment below on your favourite types of kitchen designs!



Miigwech Nibi (Anishinaabe for “Thank you water”)

Here at JMA, we’ve decided to have some fun by participating in the City of Kitchener’s Neighbourhood Placemaking Challenge. We’re looking at one of the founding community locations in our City, and have proposed a preliminary design to enhance a focal point at the trail / pedestrian / cycling crossing of Queen Street South, and explore the history of the place. If our Placemaking Challenge application is successful, next steps involve working with neighbours, stakeholders, and the surrounding uses and destinations, including Schneider Haus and the Queen’s Green Community Garden, to explore these possibilities further.

Placemaking Challenge Proposal-Thank you Water-07

Many of us are not aware of the significant aboriginal and non-aboriginal patterns of movement and settlement within our community, and in particular at this Queen Street location. The presence of Schneider Creek, as it flows from Victoria Park Lake under the roadway and onwards to the Grand River, is also not part of our everyday experience of the City.

The laminar flow fountain brings the idea of water back into the public realm. It will act as a focus for the crossings and help to transform the streetscape into an interesting and vibrant place in our community. This transformation will benefit all users and neighbours, and will celebrate the importance of water to our community. It will also make more apparent the story of Joseph and Barbara Schneider, who came from Pennsylvania to build homestead and mill at this location. We have named the intervention Miigwech Nibi (thank you water) in honour of the historic aboriginal trail that followed the creek, and our First Nations’ holistic view of water and stewardship of our planet.

Placemaking Challenge Proposal-Thank you Water-01

The laminar flow fountain can be programmed for continuous operation (creating an arch that “frames” the street) or intermittent operation (creating the sense of a jumping “fish”). By using programmable LED lighting for nighttime use, the fun and effects can be further explored and enjoyed. The final design might be one or several fountain streams, but the idea is to create “arches over Queen Street” so that this sense of connection, of  “leap”, and of celebration, is the focal point of an enhanced place for pedestrians and road users.

Placemaking Challenge Proposal-Thank you Water-05

We hope that this project and design can change perceptions and relations among pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, and create a sense of place for this important intersection of cultures, people, and history.

As the project and design move forward, we wish to engage everyone:

John MacDonald Architect (Business)

Queen’s Green Community Garden (Community group)

REEP (Business / Environmental group)

The Schneider Creek Neighbourhood Working Group (Neighbourhood group)

The Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association (Neighbourhood group)

Local businesses at Mitchell and Queen Street (Business owners)

Polocorp (Business at 379 Queen St. S. and developers of Barra Castle)


Tell us what you think, should Kitchener implement the idea of having a water fountain over Queen Street South?


Things We Like – Material Combinations

The theme for this week’s “Things We Like” was Material Combinations, chosen by Margaret. The group brought in a wide range of ideas and inspirations. Some showed a unique twist on standard exterior/interior building combinations, some used combinations to add contrast to structures or objects, and some concepts were out-of-the-box innovations for the construction industry.

Margaret entry

To start, Margaret picked a uniquely designed community bank designed by Spore Architecture in Seattle. The unusual combination of corrugated metal, composite panels and cedar rainscreen provides an appealing juxtaposition between colour, texture, and pattern.

Melhik entry

The Ebisu East Art Gallery in Japan inspired Melhik due to its exterior display. The effect of the “ripped” concrete effect on the building exterior designed to expose a reflective glass behind, requires new observers to step back and admire the distinctive appearance.

Jamil entry

Jamil selected an interior shop rehabilitation designed by Benedetta Tagliabue. There is a wide variety of materials packed into the space, with this image fully displaying the beauty of the diverse colours, shapes and materials used in the flooring design.

Dee entry

Dee brought our attention to a material combination that has revolutionized many buildings and structures. The bio material looks like regular concrete, but has bacteria that has been added in. This bacteria can survive for 200 years in the concrete and becomes active when damage occurs to fill in the cracks.

Casa de Musica

Mila brought in photos from the Casa da Musica in Portugal. The trademark material use of this building is the manipulation of glass to form curtain-like displays all over the auditorium. The walls are covered with hand-painted tiles picturing a traditional pastoral scene, and some of the public floors are paved with aluminum.


Elyn picked a breathtaking table designed by ‘RIVA For Italy’. The company combined large pieces of wood and suspended it in resin to create a one-of-a-kind designer piece. The leg stand for the tabletop is constructed of metal, which is proof of the lasting impression that mixing materials can make.

Maria entry

Maria was inspired by thinking beyond regular tangible materials and selected a combination of concrete and the use of light with this awe-inspiring location image. It belongs to the ‘Church of Light’ located in Japan, which manipulates light to create the glowing cross.

Dirk entry

Dirk’s photos of his own kitchen design show a beautiful display of material combinations for the interior furnishings. The space consists of cabinets made of rosewood, marble flooring, granite countertops and stainless steel chairs and appliances – materials that are not commonly combined for traditional kitchens which give an unmatched elegance to the space.

Julie entry

Julie chose a mix of copper and iron to show the contrast between the manufactured industrial appearance of the iron frame and the natural copper elements of richness and reflectiveness of colour. The combination also displays a variance in shape, with the often blocky copper shapes against the ornate iron rods.

JMA Massasauga Camping Trip III


JMA Office Camping Trip 2017-9

Elyn, Matt, Margaret, Marc, John and Melhik pause for a quick photo op while scaling the rocks on Wreck Island.

On the last weekend in July, 7 intrepid explorers from the JMA team set off into the sunshine to continue the tradition of the JMA Massasauga Camping Trip. Good weather, great company, and even better food were enjoyed by all over three days of canoeing, hiking, and swimming against the wild backdrop of the Canadian Shield.

Feasting in style, a full gourmet steak dinner cooked over an open fire, and “Bear Paw” pancakes!

The local fauna as seen in their natural habitat.

Marc and Elyn captured our exploration of the stunning landscape as resident office photographers.

JMA Office Camping Trip 2017-3

Until next year, Massasauga!

Ontario Architects Support Healthy Workplaces

On Wednesday May 24th, 2017, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) gathered together at their annual general meeting and showed their support for ensuring healthier workplace standards. A motion brought forward by John MacDonald called his fellow architects into action by asking them to stand up to solve issues of equity and fairness within the architectural profession. The motion specifically pertains to exemptions in the Employment Standards Act that exclude architects, among other professions, from certain employment standards such as entitlement to minimum wage, overtime pay, and vacation. The motion was received with resounding support from members of the OAA.

John was inspired to spearhead a grassroots movement among architects in Ontario to prove that architects are willing and able to take the lead to ensure better working conditions. “Not everyone in this profession has enjoyed the support and respect from employers that I have, in my journey from student to Intern to Architect and finally Principal of my practice”, says John. “Architects are leaders in our communities, and we need to lead on this issue as well. Ours is a fast-paced deadline-driven environment that may not always support the work-life balance and opportunity that is key to a healthy 21st Century workplace. We can be better.”

John’s motion has quickly gained traction, receiving an astounding approximate 160 votes in favour and only 7 votes against at the OAA Annual General meeting. When asked about the success of his motion John says, “I feel extremely gratified. This is a huge endorsement of the ability of our profession to lead on these important issues.” The motion has sent a strong message to the OAA and to other professions that those who contribute to our success and the public good must be treated fairly, with proper compensation for overtime and recognition of good work-life balance. JMA invites all like-minded professionals to join us in the effort, regardless of profession. While it’s true that the Province and many professions are studying these issues, the time for study is long past. Self-governing professions need not wait for others to act for them. Now is the time and place to move forward. #architectslead

Listen to John discuss healthy workplace standards with CBC’s Craig Norris: http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/the-morning-edition-k-w/episode/12745774

Team Working

JMA office, Kitchener Ontario